Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting an iPad in Korea

Since the release of the iPad in Korea last month, sales have been doing pretty well for Apple and KT.  But foreigners in Korea might be wondering, how can I get my hands on one?  Well, there are a few ways.

First, you have to decide which model and GB size you'd like.  The 3G/WiFi models are being subsidized through KT for a nice discount on the price, but only if you sign up for a 2 year contract with them.  This enables you to get a SIM card for the iPad and jump on their 3G networks as well as their WiFi hotspots.  The problem with this, however, is that 2 year contracts are hard for foreigners to negotiate, especially if your visa is only for one year.  If you really want to get a contract with KT to lessen the cost of the iPad and have the advantage of 3G, then your best option is to have a good Korean friend help you with the paperwork involved and have the contract put in their name--but with you paying the bills.  There are some stores that cater to foreign customers in Seoul and other cities if you are looking to buy an iPad with little communication difficulty.  

If you would rather not deal with a contract and just pick up a WiFi-only version, you can also order online through Korea's Apple store site or visit an authorized Apple reseller in Korea.  Some KT stores might even sell WiFi-only models, you'd have to check with a particular store to see their offerings.  You'll pay full price for this model, however, as no contract is needed to use basic WiFi.  There is an option of paying 8,000 won per month to have access to all of the Olleh WiFi zones instead of trying to find the free, unlocked WiFi spots in your location.  If you're thinking that you'd use the iPad at home or school, or at a place with consistent free WiFi, then the extra WiFi plan is probably not for you.

So what are the prices for the iPad? You can check out the prices on Show's website here.  The prices are also listed on the Apple Store for Korea here.  The prices on Apple's site are slightly higher for the 3G/WiFi version, but I'm not sure if that is due to VAT or a slight Apple mark-up compared to KT.

But just to compare:  a 32GB model WiFi-only:  748,000 won.  The same model but with a 2-year 3G/WiFi contract?  That's only 320,400 won--less than half the price!


  1. You can probably ignore my questions about price on Facebook, haha. Very useful blog post.

  2. I'm glad that this post helped you! It seems to be a very popular topic on my blog these days. :)


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